Chapter 26: And So Life Goes On
On Mondays she had three classes. Always early to rise, Sakura did the ill advised thing and chose morning classes. She went to her lectures, met up with Ino and Naruto who would just be arriving on campus and ate lunch with them while Naruto scrambled to finish up whatever assignment he had due that afternoon. She would see them off to their classes and then headed to work.
On Tuesdays she had two more classes and a lab and then headed to the library, sneaking Karin in occasionally so they could study together and so Karin could feel like she wasn’t alone during the week when she was going to the community college.
Wednesdays were the day that she had her Monday classes again and then also had to go to UNIV in the afternoon. On those days she didn’t have work but she, Ino, and Naruto met up with Sai and they laughed at Naruto who was in the middle of Rush week.
Thursdays were a repeat of Tuesdays except it was study group day so they met up at Suigetsu’s apartment for study group time which then turned into movie nights.
On Fridays Sakura had one morning class before she went to work for a few hours and then spent the rest of the day on all of the work she needed to get done before the weekend was up.
Even with doing her work throughout the week the only way she could have her weekends free was if she sacrificed the time she spent with her friends. She would do it. Sakura would spend less time with them if it meant she had free weekends to drive to visit Sasuke.
But he wouldn’t agree to that.
Sasuke had told her that she would make herself miserable if she didn’t see her friends. She would start to feel even lonelier than she already did with him two hours away instead of right next door.
So she went to school, met up with their friends, picked up some shifts at work, and studied. She studied and studied and studied until she couldn’t close her eyes without seeing formulas floating behind her eyelids when she closed her eyes.
Everyday she woke up and went through her same routine. The day didn’t stop, her schedule was never interrupted. School, study, work, friends, repeat. School, study, work, friends, repeat.
And every second of every day she missed him. The ache for him was set deep in her bones. But no matter how much she missed Sasuke, time didn’t stand still in his absence. The Earth kept spinning on its axis, the sun kept rising and falling.
Sakura thought the hard part about being apart would be missing him, wanting to see him and touch him. She hadn’t predicted that the part that would hurt the most was realizing that life would carry on without him as if he weren’t a missing piece in her world.
Ignoring her mother’s call, Sakura continued marching up the stairs and locked herself in her room.
“Sakura Haruno, you need to eat!”
“I’m not hungry!” Sakura shouted back, pulling her sweater over her head. She ran her fingers through her hair to tame any flyaways. She was already late as it was. She settled at her desk and smoothed down her camisole and adjusted her bra.
Sending a quick text to Sasuke she made sure her laptop was set up and ready for their video call.
“I know, I’m late,” Sakura greeted him as soon as his face popped up on her monitor. “Stupid Naruto needed help with his research paper and I swear it’s easier to give a cat a bath than it is to get him to open a book. His professor is insisting on at least two resources that aren’t online ones.”
“How did Naruto get into college again?” Sasuke drawled. He shifted his body so that he was lying down on his side.
“That may or may not have only been possible because of the help of a couple of friends of his,” Sakura teased. “You did help tutor him.”
“I’m surprised he hasn’t had a break down yet.”
“Haha..right…” Sakura averted her gaze and bit her lower lip. The truth was that Naruto did have a break down. She and Ino hadn’t realized how stressed he had been for a few weeks because he was always so upbeat and energetic whenever they met up with him.
They had all agreed not to bring it up to Sasuke because he already had enough on his plate; he didn’t need to worry about Naruto when he was all alone and Naruto was surrounded by his friends.
“So how’s your week been?”
“Please don’t word it like that,” Sasuke groaned on his end. “Dr. Yamanaka does that and it’s getting irritating as fuck.”
“Sorry. It’s been shit. My roommate happens to be the only person in the world that hates music and he’s obsessed with the Hurricanes.”
“No,” Sakura gasped, appalled. The Hurricanes were the rival team to her favorite hockey team. “How does someone not like music?”
“I don’t know but he bitches whenever he hears our neighbors playing it and I would much rather listen to loud music playing than fucking. And they’re always fucking.”
“We’re in the mountains so there’s not much to do unless you can get into the bars so guess what most of the assholes here are doing if they’re not studying?”
“I don’t wanna think about it. I’m just picturing one big nerd orgy.”
“I’m just glad my roommate doesn’t bring anyone over.”
“Speaking of your roommate,” Sakura twirled a strand of hair with her finger. “When does he get back? Do you think—“
A loud knock on her bedroom door interrupted her and she jumped.
“Young lady, you need to eat,” Mebuki called out between knocks. She flinched at the glare Sasuke sent her way.
“I was going to have dinner later,” she said hastily.
“For someone that’s always lecturing me about my eating habits you’ve really been slipping if your mother is home to make sure you’re eating meals.” Sakura dropped her head on her desk and groaned. She covered her head with her arms. “I don’t wanna hear about you passing out when I’m two hours away and can’t do anything about it.”
“Naruto told you, huh?” She peeked up from under an arm.
“Ino actually. She’s convinced that you’ll listen to me.” Sasuke sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “Just go get your food and we can video chat while you eat.”
Opening her bedroom door, Sakura found her mother standing outside of it with a tray in hand.
“He’s not the world,” her mother whispered. “One night of not talking to each other won’t kill you but continuing to miss meals will.”
“He’s not the reason I forget to eat,” Sakura muttered. And it was the truth.
Between work and studying and classes, Sakura was constantly on the move and too distracted with everything to remember to eat. She would be deep into writing a paper and not even notice the grumbling of her stomach.
It should have been more obvious of a problem when her jeans stopped fitting around her hips and were slipping off. It shouldn’t have taken her collapsing and stumbling in the middle of the library before she realized she had a problem.
“So when are you coming to visit again?”
“This weekend. I have an appointment with Dr. Yamanaka and I’m staying the night ‘cause my mom wants to send me back with a bunch of food.”
“Would you have time to hang out?” She picked at her noodles. “Naruto has been planning a surprise visit to you.”
“Should you have told me about the surprise?” Sasuke flipped through a textbook, the corners of his mouth slightly upturned as he listened to her talk. “I’m still technically in trouble for running off on everyone.”
“That was like a month ago and you’re at university, how can you be grounded?”
Sasuke shrugged and continued flipping pages. This is why Sakura preferred to video chat. Sasuke could be on the line for a long time but he had periods were he didn’t have the energy to talk.
“Well, I can always sneak out anyway.” Sakura set aside her half finished plate. “So, again, when is your roommate supposed to get back?”
“Are you really that horny?”
“Yes,” Sakura groaned, dropping her head onto her desk. “It’s been a month. You should have waited for me to be done with work before ”
“Just wait a few more days. That’s what I’m doing.”
“Oh, so you thought I would just have sex with you as soon as you came home, huh?”
Sasuke gave her an unimpressed look. “Oh? And why do you keep asking where my roommate is?”
They stayed on the line talking until Sasuke noticed her nodding off and decided that it was time for her to go to bed. It was one of the reasons why he preferred when she used her laptop instead of her phone when they video called each other. Sakura would always try to stay up late and then go to class with only an hour or two of sleep and it was easier for her to get away with doing that if she was using her phone.
“Goodnight, Love,” Sakura murmured and waited for Sasuke to settle into bed.
The last thing she saw was Sasuke pulling a pillow to his chest and curl up under his covers before hanging up.
The week was taking too long.
Sometimes the days blurred together and it felt like there wasn’t enough hours in the day but then there were times that they dragged and didn’t seem to end.
This was one of those weeks.
Sasuke was sure that the weekend only felt like it was taking forever to be reached because he was actually excited. Usually the only good thing about the weekends were that he was promised an entire morning to sleep before he had to drag himself to the library to work on an assignment or to meet his project group.
His parents weren’t too happy with how little he visited. The last time they saw him he was only staying for a bit before he had to go to his appointment with his therapist and then he had to head back to college to work on a project.
If he had purposefully left his flash drive back in his dorm, who would know it?
Trying to spend as little time as possible at home was greatly affecting his ability to spend time with his friends. It had been weeks but Sasuke was still feeling off about being around his own family. It was awkward having to relearn how to navigate through his relationships with every member.
When his mother called to check up on him she always insisted that some of the questions had come from his father. Sasuke didn’t believe her, but he didn’t say anything about it. It wasn’t the way his father was.
Sighing to himself, Sasuke hopped off of his bed and pulled out a long case from the storage space under his bed. He unlatched it and pulled out the keyboard from inside.
Sasuke was starting to realize that sometimes people used words to express what they feel━people like Naruto who forced the world to hear their every opinion and thought. There were people like his mother and Sakura who used soothing touches and gentle, honest words.
Itachi was the kind that hid things to protect you, that was his kind of love. Kizashi Haruno expressed his love through laughter and food. Mebuki with harsh reprimands full of concern.
But that wasn’t Fugaku Uchiha.
Sasuke sat at his desk chair and let his fingers dance carelessly across the keys of his new electronic keyboard. He played a senseless melody before settling into a familiar tune.
Love wasn’t just one universal language. Everyone spoke a dialect of their own and sometimes it was translated into phone calls or video chats. Sometimes it came in care packages of muffins.
And sometimes it came in obnoxiously large and heavy deliveries waiting in the dorm lobby to be picked up.